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Evaluation Of UNICEF Early Childhood Development Programme With Focus On Government Of Netherlands Funding (2008-2010) Nepal Country Case Study Report
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As early as the 1960s, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs and INGOs) in Nepal have been working to expand access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) activities and services as a key strategy for improving primary-school retention and performance. Today, ECD in Nepal consists primarily of center-based Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED), parenting orientation classes, awareness-raising campaigns, health services, and nutrition support for infants and young children that promotes physical and cognitive development. Nepal’s primary focus in scaling up ECD activities has been on center. There are currently more than 29,089 ECD center operating in Nepal (Ministry of Education [MOE] 2009). Overall, 66.2 percent of the population of 3 and 4-year-olds is 1 enrolled in an ECD center 64.8 percent of girls and 67.5 percent of boys (MOE 2009). Nepal is ranked among the poorest countries in the world, with a Human Development Index rating of 144 out of 182 countries (United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] 2009). Nearly 20 percent of the population is under age 6, and half of these children fall within the age range of 3 to 6 years (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] 2008). The primary-school net enrollment rate is 94 percent. However, only 78 percent of children who start grade 1 will continue in school to reach grade 5 (MOE 2009).

This report presents the results of a retrospective case study of policy and programmatic initiatives to promote ECD in Nepal, with an emphasis on those supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the Government of Nepal. The evaluation team conducted the study as part of an evaluation of the UNICEF-Government of Netherlands (GoN) Cooperation Programme on ECD, 2008-2010. The Cooperation Programme on ECD emphasizes three strategic objectives: (1) capacity building, (2) knowledge generation and dissemination, and (3) mainstreaming ECD into policies and services for young children. In addition, the Cooperation Programme on ECD focuses on cross-cutting issues, such as use of a human rights based approach to planning and providing ECD services, as well as gender equity and outreach to the marginalized.

For the Nepal case study, in June 2010, the evaluation team conducted eight days of in country data collection, including field visits to locations where ECD is implemented. Primary data sources included key informant interviews with UNICEF country office staff, officials from the ministries of education and health, and staff from key UNICEF partner organizations; focus group discussions with parents, ECD 2 facilitators, local ECD stakeholders, and district and local government officials; and observations of ECD centers. The evaluation team employed two main qualitative evaluation methods in analyzing case study data: (1) thematic framing and (2) triangulation. The analysis is structured around the logical framework for ECD in Nepal and the questions, outcomes, and indicators specified in the case study matrix (Appendix A). Triangulation confirmed patterns and identified important discrepancies across data sources and respondents participating in interviews and focus groups.
UNICEF ,   (2010 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 UNICEF : Children Fund
14.05.02  -  Psychology
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